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Dear Horse Crazy Kid

My heart horse, Callahan, and I at a show jumping clinic circa 2011.

Dear Horse Crazy Kid,

Being known as the horse crazy kid is an honor. It means your love and passion for horses shines so bright that everyone notices. That's awesome because a lot of people go their whole life without being passionate about anything. Keep shining!

You're going to have ups and downs.

You're going to have hard days, bad rides, embarrassing lessons, and also well-deserved victories.

Don't give up and keep at it. Sticking with it is half the battle.

There's something to being the last person in the barn the night before a show.

There's also something to having the cleanest (not the newest or the most expensive) tack and showing up to things early.

There is right and wrong.

Horses can't speak for themselves, so be their voice.

Don't get mad at your horse for wiggling while you braid, in 20 years, you'd give anything to braid that horse's mane again.

Remember, every horse you sit on deserves the same love and admiration you gave your first horse.

Know that 95% of the time things went wrong, it was you not the horse.

Always give them a treat after your ride.

Listen to your coach but if they ever make you feel like you or your horse are nothing, find a different one. You're somebody.

Also, whatever your mom says to you as you struggle through warm-up at the show is right. Doesn't matter if she doesn't ride. Trust me, she's right.

Bareback trailrides are equally as productive as a schooling ride.

Dream big and believe in yourself.

Put in the work and make it happen.

People will tell you to "be realistic" or "get a real job" but if you want it bad enough, your dream and passion can become your job.

Everyone deserves respect no matter what type of saddle they ride in.

When you grow up and find an actual human you want to spend the rest of your life with, still make time to ride.

Where there is life, there is death. Always keep their tail.

Never pass up a chance to gallop in a big field on a sunny day.

Write the date and horse you rode on the back of your ribbon.

When in doubt, keep your eyes up, shoulders back, and leg on.

Don't forget why you started and enjoy the ride!



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